Monday, May 29, 2017

‘I Pray for Them” By Melanie Rigney

By Eugène Burnand (1850-1921) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

(Paul said to the Ephesus presbyters:) “But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God's grace.” (Acts 20:22-24)

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth. (Psalm 68:33a)

(Jesus prayed to the Father:) “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them." (John 17:6-9)

Jesus, may my ears always hear and my soul always surrender to Your message of salvation.

If his followers hadn’t already figured out why it seemed Jesus parried and debated with the self-righteous, they got the answer when His hour had come. The riddles and parables were done. In today’s Gospel reading from John, Jesus in what’s known as the high priestly prayer says many things to the Father, including that those who belong to the Son have accepted God’s words.

And what of those among the Pharisees and Sadducees and elders and scribes and the crowds who didn’t or wouldn’t hear or believe what Jesus had to share? Were they not among those “whom you gave me out of the world”? Did they have the opportunity to hear, and chose not to? That’s for a more learned person than me to weigh in on. But you have to think the disciples eavesdropping on this conversation with the Father wondered as we do today: To whom do I really belong? Have I kept the Word? Do I truly believe it was God who sent Jesus, not just in a theoretical sense but in a practical way—do I believe it when I am tempted to take the easy way out of situations that could result in harm and ridicule and persecution against me? Because if I truly hear Him, how can I not obey, regardless of the earthly cost?

Jesus, keep praying for me.

Consider spending some time today with the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s commentary on the Prayer of the Hour of Jesus (2746-2751).

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